Moffat County clinches Rural Jump-Start designation to aid economic development |

Moffat County clinches Rural Jump-Start designation to aid economic development

Lauren Blair

— Moffat County was officially crowned a Rural Jump-Start community Thursday by the Colorado Economic Development Commission.

The Rural Jump-Start program was launched by the Colorado legislature in 2015. It provides tax incentives to new businesses that locate into economically distressed counties of less than 250,000, according to a press release from Colorado Northwestern Community College and Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership.

“This program allows us to offer an attractive package to eligible businesses in a competitive environment. CMEDP is actively seeking eligible new and growing businesses to participate in this exciting opportunity,” said CMEDP Executive Director Michelle Balleck.

CNCC officially applied for the program March 1 on the heels of approval by both Craig City Council and Moffat County Commissioners to offer the tax relief outlined within the program. The college serves as a sponsoring institution of higher education for the county.

“CNCC is proud to be a program partner and continued economic driver for business development in Moffat County and Northwestern Colorado,” said Janell Oberlander, vice president of the Craig Campus, in the release.

The next step is business recruitment. To qualify, businesses must be either a startup or based out of state, and they must not directly compete with any other business currently operating within Colorado. Existing businesses can also create a new division that meets the provisions of the program.

“There are two businesses that are considering growth opportunities within the community, and that’s really exciting,” Balleck said.